9/5/11

Star Trek: Asterisk "Future Tense"

Vital Information
Series: Enterprise
Episode: S02E16
Air Date: February 19, 2003
Written by: Mike Sussman & Phyllis Strong
Directed by: James Whitmore, Jr.

Premise
The Enterprise finds a TARDIS and while they try to figure it out, everyone else tries to get it back.

Review
Well, here's an interesting predicament. What do you do if you see a disabled ship with no life signs drifting about in space with no weapons fire signatures and no apparent way to propel itself? Normal people would count it as space trash and move along... but not Archer! Our intrepid captain commands that this small vessel be brought into the shuttle bay for further study. And when they finally find a way to open a fused hatch, what to they find? A dead human. Well, that's what you get for digging around in space trash! Time to throw it back, right? NOPE!

It actually is a pretty big deal that the dead dude inside the ship is human. Enterprise is supposed to be the first human ship to ever make it out this far. Except there is a juicy little tidbit thrown around about Zephram Cochrane who was last seen testing a new warp drive and never heard from again. (This is a reference to the Original Series episode "Metamorphosis" in which Zephram is found on an asteroid where he gained eternal life from his new girlfriend; an energy being by the name of The Companion. Companion! Yes. Doctor Who. The TARDIS... back to this ship...)

While Trip and Reed continue to explore this apparently fascinating piece of space junk, they find another hatch. When they open it, they find a long corridor that seemingly goes far beyond the physical limitations of the outer shell. Trip openly wonders how a ship can be bigger on the inside.
"More common than you might think."
They climb down into the corridor and find a faint energy signature in the wall. Meanwhile, a Suliban ship shows up and lays claim to the space junk TARDIS. While Archer argues with the Suliban, Trip and Reed take a small box out from behind the wall and then realize the ship is under attack. They climb out of the TARDIS with the small box and then get into a fight with a couple of Suliban who transported inside the cargo bay. With the Suliban trying so hard to get their hands on it, suddenly the TARDIS doesn't look so much like junk. Eventually, with superior weapons, the Enterprise is able to ward off the Suliban cargo ship.

The small box they found is thought to be a black box which could have essential information about where it came from. So while Trip and Reed get to work figuring that out, Archer sees Phlox about the dead human. Phlox then reveals that the human was the result of an intergalactic orgy of alien species. No, not really. But he is the result of several generations of inter-species mating. Which is also impossible unless he's from the distant future. And T'Pol had been convinced by the Vulcan science directorate that time travel is impossible.
"You must be new!"
Well, that was all the convincing Archer needed. He's sure the ship is some kind of time machine, so he goes down to Crewman Daniels' quarters where all the fancy future stuff was locked away and looks up the ship in the holographic database. While the information is loading, Archer and T'Pol take that moment to speculate what a Human/Vulcan hybrid would look like. Yeah, like that doesn't create any sexual tension. Luckily the tension is dispersed when the TARDIS shows up on the database. The commission date is roughly 900 years in the future.

And that's when the Tholians attack. And when Archer runs around wondering where he put his brain. The Tholians hold them in a tractor beam and tell them they want the TARDIS. Well, that's two claims to the vessel. So Archer deduces that the Suliban and the Tholians are on opposite sides of the Temporal Cold War. Archer says if they don't let the Enterprise out of the tractor beam, he's going to destroy the TARDIS. Unfortunately, the Tholians don't have time to build a web around them. So they let them go... and then more Tholians come in order to chase them down and attack. As Tholians are wont to do.

Finally Trip and Reed figure out that their "black box" isn't a black box at all, but an emergency beacon of some kind that's not really working. So while they work on fixing it, the Enterprise stumbles into a battle between Suliban and a Vulcan ship. What?! What is happen?! Who make what... time? This! Huh?

The dozens of little Suliban pods suddenly turn on the Enterprise, leaving the damaged Vulcan ship alone. Well, then the Tholians drop out of warp and the Suliban pods go after the Tholians! AND NO ONE EVER EXPLAINS WHAT EXACTLY IS GOING ON HERE!

Reed and Archer formulate a plan to use a warhead inside the TARDIS to... I dunno... do something... I really forgot. But they run into some trouble with the radiation from the TARDIS causes them to skip time.
This will definitely work.
But at the same time, Trip is working on the emergency beacon. As soon as he activates it...

...Everything from the future disappears.

And the bad guys just... leave...

And they all live happily ever after and learned a valuable lesson about time travel.

Overall Thoughts
WHAT THE HECK WAS GOING ON!??